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FME Solar United: The Norwegian Research Centre for Solar Cell Technology

The proposed Centre will contribute to increasing the cost-competitiveness of the PV industry in general, thus enabling the Norwegian PV industry to further improve its strong global position. In order to achieve world-class research and innovation along the entire value chain of Si solar cells, complementary and strong research groups at IFE, NTNU, SINTEF and UiO will join forces in the Centre. In addition, 9 industry partners will join the Centre. IFE is the Centre host.

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Casting of Cz ingot

World-class expertise in the ar eas of Si feedstock production, crystallization, advanced material synthesis, characterization and modelling, as well as solar cell process technology has been established through a number of research projects in recent years. Norwegian industry currently has its focus on Si wafer-based solar cells, which is a well-established research field in Norway. However, a future oriented Centre must also carry out research on new materials, devices and processes. New developments in these fields can produce major contributions into the cost-effectiveness of traditional Si-based solar cells and may also pave the way for breakthroughs by new cell concepts.

Research in the Centre will be performed in six interdisciplinary and inter-institutional work packages. Thes e will target issues that are critical for the successful development of low-cost and/or high-efficiency solar cells. Five competence-building work packages are planned within the Centre. These are

  • WP1: Mono- and multicrystalline silicon
  • WP2: Next gener ation modelling tools for silicon crystallization and subsequent cooling
  • WP3: Solar cell and module technology
  • WP4: New materials for next generation solar cells
  • WP5: Solar cell material and device characterization methodology development
  • A value chain demonstration project (WP6) for implementing the results of the other work packages into demonstrations of solar cell prototypes is also planned. In addition, the Centre will host a research scool.

The project was funded by the Research council of Norway


Key Factors

Project duration

2009 - 2017